I switched on the news this morning. It was a random choice. My attention was soon immersed in what I was watching. Perhaps a historical event was taking place. A decision to curtail a man’s life, was about to be given. Everything was theatrical and intense. The man’s name means many things to many people. Some find the mere mention of his name abhorrent, bitter in their hatred, some people’s minds flicker back to when there was some law and order in country. He is the architect of so much evil, but as ever he still as ever the unrelenting showman, the man who will to his dying breath, seek to be centre of attention. Recently his trial has been put in the shadows, as other events have taken presidents. He is dressed smartly. The television coverage, is twenty minutes behind the actual happenings in the court room. The judge seems fidgety. who wouldn’t be, as he is sentencing, the leading figures in a regime, that massacred it’s only people, with cynicsm, of the Nazis during the second world war. The question hung in the air, how would this man react to the sentence of death, that has been inevitably hanging over him, ever since he was discovered in a squalid hiding place, by some American soldiers. Some though this would draw a line, under all the troubles that existed since the invasion. This assumption has proved wrong. Iraq insurgency has not lied down, it has been snarling and has blighted the country. How many Iraqi civilians have died, does the world care anyway? Maybe at the beginning of the conflict, numbers counted, but now we are beyond counting, either humans or the tragedy, that has unfolded. The court room seems a far cry from all those troubles, deaths, suicide bombers, injuries, violence, torture and the ugliness of war. I hear via the BBC, the first man has been sentenced to death, by hanging. I am captivated, I postpone any tasks, I should be doing. I want to know what fate is in store for the principal player. The BBC excitedly report, via Reuters, that it is to be as expected “death by hanging “. I am forced to wait a certain period of time before the images can be relayed (because of this twenty-minute delay).
A reporter describes the scene. I get the impression that the reporters, despite the despicable nature of this tyrant and all the horrific things he has initiated, still hold a certain affection for his defiance. He is man who lives up to his image. A translator, has the job of feverishly translating between the judge, who is trying to go about the legal process, in a correct way and the tyrant who is spitting hellfire. There is no halting the tyrant, he is shouting such things as Long live Iraq! Long live the Iraqi people! Down with the traitors! He is unrelenting. “Allahu Akbar!” God is Great) and “Long live Iraq! Long live the Iraqi people! Down with the traitors!” the vent of his anger is the court, the judge and the US-led occupation force in Iraq. His rant is deliberate, in the same way an actor might deliver a speech, in a certain way. One reporter, said as he left the court room, he still managed a self-satisfied smile, the kind a person might submit, knowing they had performed in a manner, they had pre-intended and had proved a point
In their analysis there is talk of “victor’s justice” and fingers are pointing at the justice system, which is seen to be flawed. A certain man back in a large powerful country is sweating on his popularity, which has been waning of late, with the risk of losing control of Congress, partly because of voter dissatisfaction over the handling of the Iraq conflict. Votes have to won, his place in history as a “strong leader” also has to be guarded. Media people are asking the question, whether this tyrant from Iraq’s death sentence might act as another turning point, in same way they thought his capture might start see a marked change. Are they still playing with fire, will they create another martyr, more suicide bombers, more hatred between the Arab world and the west? I am surprised the British Foreign secretaries response, as I would have imagined, she would not be the kind of person, who would support the death penalty. She said “I welcome that Saddam Hussein and the other defendants have faced justice and have been held to account for their crimes.” Human Rights activists are going to be ready to question whether “justice” has been done. There will also no doubt be a period of perturbation in Iraq, but then when hasn’t this country been a chaotic state in recent times. The will be more misery spread throughout this country and innocent people will no doubt pay the price. Finally the maverick, the man who led the Iraqi people for thirty years, who showed his teeth defiantly to the West, who played games, who lost his dignity cowering in a hole, who spat his venom in his court case, who took centre stage for so long, will have his life extinguished. The final curtain will go down.
I can only suggest that the world does not think of him, but all those who have suffered and died, in this dark conflict.

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